Catholicism for Dummies in Pleasant Monthly Installments

July-August 2003

At the crack of dawn this morning we were going through yesterday’s mail, and we spotted a slick full-color, 12-page direct-mail brochure with the headline: “The Truth Doesn’t Hurt.” Vaguely recalling the venerable expression “Sometimes the truth hurts,” we wondered: If the truth doesn’t hurt, is it being sugar-coated? Oh, who knows? It’s too early in the morning for such deep thoughts. Where’s the coffee?

Still, why would anyone claim that “The Truth Doesn’t Hurt”? So our interest was piqued, and we opened up the large brochure, and learned this: “If you haven’t read Crisis in a while, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. We’ve changed for the better. The new Crisis gives you the very best writing…without the jargon. Articles you’ll really understand and enjoy!… Some of the most thoughtful Catholic magazine writing today is tough sledding…. Crisis is different…. Our writers go the extra mile to make sure you can understand what they’re trying to say — without extra effort!”

Oh, we think we get it now. It’s Crisis that doesn’t hurt. It’s easy reading. And no jargon! Folks will no longer have to look up such befuddling terms as encyclical, Agnus Dei, gnosticism, Transubstantiation, indifferentism, or Americanism.

And it’s reassuring, this early in the morning, to learn that “Crisis will help clarify your thinking….” Since our thoughts are so muddled and jumbled right now, that’s just what we need. What’s taking so long with the coffee?

And “Crisis will add to your everyday life.” Well, you can’t beat that. But how so? “Crisis will save your valuable time and money. Crisis covers just about every political and cultural issue of importance…. You’ll soon find it’s the only resource you need…. Your investment in a Crisis subscription will pay you handsome dividends every month.” Wow! A dividend check every month! Could this be?

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New Oxford Notes: July-August 2003

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